Practical Life exercises are everyday life activities which work toward building independence while providing the child with a sense of pride, self discipline and value. There is further development and refinement of hand-eye coordination and strengthening of the hand muscles which indirectly prepares the child for writing. These activities foster good work habits such as focus, concentration, inner discipline and attention to detail. All of the activities in Practical Life help form the foundation for the later work in the Montessori classroom. This area is often the favourite of all students.
The Sensorial equipment offers the child the opportunity to classify and understand all of the information he-she takes in through their senses. Each of the materials isolates single concepts allowing the child to explore the physical properties of their environment. They learn to classify their impressions and discriminate by sight, touch, smell, sound and taste. These refined senses will augment the child`s ability to recognize and discriminate items, which in turn develop language associated with classification, contrasting, and comparison.
The Montessori Math program focuses first on the concrete before moving to the abstract. The children use a wide variety of carefully constructed materials to provide them with an initial understanding of quantitative value and the sequence of numbers. The curriculum follows a sequential order as children learn and understand these concepts. This work provides the child with a solid foundation for traditional mathematical principles, providing a structured scope for abstract reasoning.
The Montessori Language materials include pictures and real objects which are named, matched, labelled, and classified by the children in order to fulfill the child’s innate desire to acquire vocabulary to express him/herself. Pre-reading and pre-writing skills are emphasized by introducing sound games, working with sandpaper letters and a moveable alphabet. Phonetic sounds are taught first because these are the sounds they hear in words which lead to reading. Through the use of sandpaper letters, handwriting is a built-in feature of the language area. Each child develops at their own pace to master the separate skills involved in this area.
The Culture area of the curriculum encompasses the study of history, geography, science, music and art. The teacher introduces physical and cultural geography through the use of puzzles, classification cards, objects, and group activities. The children learn about their heritage, the physical structure of the world, plant and animal life on earth, as well as the changing seasons.